The God of Small Things
How we cite our quotes:
The Loss of Sophie Mol stepped softly around the Ayemenem House like a quiet thing in socks. It hid in books and food. In Mammachi's violin case. In the scabs of sores on Chacko's shins that he constantly worried. In his slack, womanish legs. (1.97)
This quote portrays Sophie Mol's death as the kind of event everyone is constantly reminded of, in the simplest and quietest of ways. It's not something people come right out and talk about.
After the funeral Mammachi asked Rahel to help her locate and remove her contact lenses with the little orange pipette that came in its own case. Rahel asked Mammachi whether, after Mammachi died, she could inherit the pipette. Ammu took her out of the room and smacked her.
"I never want to hear you discussing people's deaths with them again," she said. (2.80-81)
This is the kind of moment that helps shape a kid's understanding of death. Rahel probably didn't mean to be disrespectful or insensitive – she seems pretty matter-of-fact – but Ammu's reaction teaches her that talking about death is inappropriate.
Ammu died in a grimy room in the Bharat Lodge in Alleppey, where she had gone for a job interview as someone's secretary. She died alone. With a noisy ceiling fan for company and no Estha to lie at the back of her and talk to her. She was thirty-one. Not old, not young, but a viable, die-able age. (7.47)
Ammu's death is a lonely and scary experience. It's especially sad the way the narrator points out Estha's absence. Love and warmth are noticeably missing from the scene. What a terrible way to go.